Photo: Step Above/YouTube

Drone Footage of Cape Town, South Africa, Shows an Entirely Empty City

by Eben Diskin Apr 13, 2020

Amid the coronavirus lockdowns, the streets of some of busiest cities in the world have emptied and gone silent.

Recent drone footage captured by the Step Above drone company shows Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa and a city of more than 4.6 million inhabitants, eerily deserted and quiet. The city’s busiest streets, including its central business district, are now entirely empty.

Luke Bell, a Step Above drone pilot, said to Business Insider, “There’s a bit more traffic than people would think, but it’s super strange…it’s scary to see. But, at the same time, it’s cool because it means that people are listening to the law, staying home and we as a country are taking the lockdown seriously.”

While we might be inclined to view such footage as discouraging, it’s actually a positive sign that people are abiding by social distancing guidelines. And it’s not just Cape Town that’s embracing its quiet side. At the end of March, drone footage of San Francisco has shown similarly empty streets, vacant storefronts, and silent boardwalks. It might look like a scene from a disaster movie, but remember — the fewer people on the street, the quicker the curve will flatten, and the sooner this is all over.

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